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A government in a state of paralysis; no plan, no vision for...

A government in a state of paralysis; no plan, no vision for the future, no capability to solve this country’s problems

It’s time to begin the process of cleaning house and sweeping these grossly incompetent politicians out of Washington.

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What could not be more obvious and very troubling is the fact that those in control of this government are caught up in a state of paralysis, one of their own making; going from day to day just reacting to conditions that suddenly emerge around them. They have absolutely no vision of the direction that this country should take going into the future.

What is the plan that this Trump-led government is following? Sure he and his GOP cohorts say that they want to create jobs, improve our system of healthcare, repair and rebuild the infrastructure, and initiate tax reform. That’s great and that’s what the American people have been hearing for a long time but do we hear anything about specific steps that they intend to take to make those initiatives come to fruition?

In contrast, China, which will soon become the top economic power in the world, is currently following its 13th consecutive 5-year plan which is based on achieving continuous economic growth. Its leaders emphasize the need for “strategic vision” in developing the government’s key priorities. China is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in building infrastructure for countries all over the world while the U.S. government can’t even figure out how to fund the repair of its own crumbling infrastructure.

What the current U.S. government is doing is no more than wishful thinking, hoping that these things will be achieved through some sort of minor miracle. Right now America, because of this backward, shallow-thinking government and leaders, is like a ship on the high seas with a badly damaged rudder and a faulty compass going around in circles and getting nowhere.

Captain Trump and his motley crew are certainly not burning the midnight oil working furiously to develop programs and legislation to achieve key objectives. There are no deadlines to meet, there seems to be no sense of urgency, and this government could be described as “a vast wasteland.”

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Does anyone think that the members of this Congress are actually accomplishing anything of substance to earn their pay? The members of the Senate and the House receive salaries of $174,000 per year; the House and Senate majority and minority leaders receive $193,400 and the Speaker of the House $223,500. Note I said they “receive” salaries, I didn’t say they earn them.

Trump and his Republican minions are clearly in a state of confusion on how to proceed with their generalized objectives largely because doing so is beyond their capabilities. With that said, let’s just move Trump aside for a time and pretend that there is a different president in charge; one that would have the experience and knowledge to pursue these important initiatives. How would he or she go about it?

First of all let’s not refer to this overall plan as, “How to make America great again” and, instead, refer to it as “A plan to solve America’s most pressing problems.”

Here are the key issues/priorities that we all know need to be addressed; jobs, healthcare, infrastructure, and tax reform. Now let’s show how the efforts to implement necessary programs to meet these key objectives should be organized by utilizing high-level study groups.

Each of these four study groups should be started roughly at the same time, not phased in separately over a period of time because they are all so critically important. Each would include some of the best and brightest Americans who are at the top of their respective professions and are extremely well-qualified to help to advance each particular initiative.

A chairman would head each group, an individual very knowledgeable about the issue at hand, who is well-respected, not a politician or one known to be strongly connected to any political party; someone with the reputation of Robert Mueller who was just recently named as Special Prosecutor in the Russian investigation.

Groups should include about 20 participants in order to get a wide array of opinions and ideas from different perspectives. They should be selected by the chairman and recruited from the various fields which are directly related to the specific category to be studied.

Health care: representatives from hospitals, top-level physicians and surgeons; also individuals from the private insurance industry, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and the Veterans Administration health care system. Connections to be made with organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Nurses Association, as well as others.

Members of Congress would serve only as observers, on call to document the process and then issue a report to Congress when it’s time for that body to provide appropriate legislation and funding for the necessary programs.

Infrastructure: the U.S. Corps of Engineers plus highly knowledgeable persons that have extensive knowledge relative to highways, waterways, dams, the electrical grid, as well as other areas of national infrastructure. To be really effective this repair and rebuilding effort would have to be a joint venture between the business sector and the U.S. government.

Job Creation: a difficult category to address since trying to convince corporations to create new jobs employing American workers or bring back jobs that have been outsourced to China and other overseas nations would be nearly impossible. Obviously, a major infrastructure program would generate a great many new jobs.

One area that should be given strong consideration as a basis for positive job creation is one that I read about on money.com. It said that there are nearly 6 million unfilled jobs in America because of a lack of appropriate skills and training. That’s astounding and it should be one of the first areas to be examined to see how this shortage of qualified Americans could be dealt with.

The types of jobs most in need involve electrical and mechanical technicians to operate complex, computer-controlled plant machinery, together with those with the appropriate training to maintain them. America may have lost millions of manufacturing jobs to China but it still has quite a bit of manufacturing left that is not labor intensive but quite complex.

This is a ripe area for picking. This country needs more vocational schools including those at high school levels; also various training schools offering a wide array of skills that would fit those millions of jobs that currently unfilled. This is a no-brainer and the only question is; why has this not been done before?

Tax reform: no one from Wall Street should be involved.  The IRS, together with the country’s most respected economists, representatives from selected state taxing bodies as well as others who have the appropriate knowledge to tackle this highly complex and very controversial issue must be.

Representatives from the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, should be directly involved with each of these study groups and play a major role in developing the needed cost estimates for any specific program submitted for consideration.

Republicans who are determined to repeal Obamacare are doing the opposite of what is being recommended in this article. They are meeting behind closed doors in secret sessions to come up with legislation to repeal that program instead of addressing and fixing its faulted areas. They are determined to implement some program like Trump Care that, based on CBO estimates, would be a complete disaster and result in over 20 million Americans losing their medical coverage.

Is what is presented here a perfect organizational plan? Not by any means for it’s not much more than an outline for organizing study groups to address and find the best ways to develop solutions for America’s most pressing problems. But it is at least something positive to get this process underway.

Would Trump and Republicans ever embrace and go forward with the kind of positive, constructive way to organize efforts to create a far more effective healthcare system, millions of new jobs, the repair of this nation’s infrastructure; and tax reform? The answer is a resounding NO!

And that’s exactly why these problems will never be solved as long as these current politicians are allowed to remain in control of this government and its functions. It’s time to begin the process of cleaning house and sweeping these grossly incompetent politicians out of Washington.




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Michael Payne
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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